Last night we attended the annual Pro Rodeo that comes to Spanish Fork for our July 24th festivities. July 24th is Utah’s Pioneer Days that is celebrated across the state. Just like Nevada takes Halloween as a state holiday, Utah takes July 24th and enjoys it. It’s nice because it allows for more Summer Celebrations. As I was mentioning we went to the rodeo. It was fun, as usual. One of our favorite parts is watching the Mutton Busting. Mutton Busting is small children on farm animals for cheap entertainment. Small children lie on the back of a sheep and cling to its neck as though their life depends on it while the sheep runs across the arena. While most of the children don’t make it five feet we had two young ones who excelled at the sport last night. One kid almost made it all the way across the arena, hugging the sheep tighter than his own mom. The clowns chased those two down and had a good run. Then a few kids later we had a pro that had obviously been practicing. He had on a helmet and sat astride the sheep instead of lying on its back. He then held on with one hand and waved the other one in the air, just like a pro Bucking Bronco rider! He also almost made it all the way across the arena. I think his sheep was even faster because the clowns couldn’t keep up. They finally caught him after the sheep turned and were able to whisk him off the sheep’s back. He took home the trophy, of course.
Another favorite is the Bucking Broncos. There are two styles, one with a saddle and another bareback. I’m not sure which is harder. It’s not a sport for the faint hearted. As one guy hobbled off the arena I whispered to hubby that his arm was hanging in the wrong spot. Hubby replied it was probably dislocated. Fun! Another guy was bucked off the back and landed right on his neck! He bounced right back up and walked off. Yet another rider was bucked and the horse kept bucking and hit his leg. It was awfully close to a tender spot that could have prevented him reproducing in the future. The announcer compared these guys to basketball players. He said all these guys got up, shook it off, and walked out of the arena and rode again the next night. If it had been a basketball player they would have been out for weeks if they had happened to sprain their pinky while riding the horses. Cowboys are tough.
But in all fairness, they may be tough but not the smartest. Next came the trailer race. Team #6 won. But as I looked, there were only five teams competing. Not quite sure where their counting failed them.
The most dangerous and adrenalin pumped event is saved for last. The best music is played and everyone sticks around just for Bull Riding. You know Bull Riding is dangerous because the clown brings out a reinforced oil drum that looks like an oversized, hollowed-out keg to hide in when the bull gets completely out of control. The bulls are only supposed to be partially out of control so no one dies or is seriously maimed, although the boys would consider that a treat. The men responsible for herding the animals back into the pen position themselves at the other end of the arena, hoping they aren’t needed. They don’t even come close to the bull until the 8 seconds buzzer is done buzzing, which is yet another few seconds. I laugh when the bulls manage to buck their rider off before the time is up. They usually chase down the rider as their revenge. We also get treated to a little known sport called Synchronized Chute Climbing when the bull lunges at everyone associated with the Bull Riding and they clear out of the way. As Bull Riding comes to an end the crowd begins to filter out to their cars. Another successful night at the rodeo. Lots of action and no major injuries except dislocated shoulders, neck sprains, hooves imprinted on body parts, and spilled snow cones.